Art Therapy Professions Video: Educational Requirements to Be an Art Therapist

Art Therapy Professions Video: Educational Requirements to Be an Art Therapist Transcript

Are you interested in a career that allows you to make a difference in the lives of people affected by illness or disability? Art therapy professionals do just that on a daily basis. They work in counseling environments where patients can draw, sketch or perform other arts disciplines (such as painting and sculpting). Art therapy professionals employ this combination of therapy and creative expression to help patients to recover from a variety of physical and mental health conditions.


Art therapy involves the use of drawing, painting and other media to promote greater health and wellbeing. Art therapies are used to help people affected by developmental, medical and psychological conditions. Treatments are overseen by art therapists, who are professionals trained in both mental health care and the arts. Art therapies may be helpful in reducing anxiety, increasing motor coordination, building confidence and improving social skills. The ultimate objective is to help patients achieve more fulfilling lives by limiting the negative effects of their health conditions. Grounded in psychology and human development, art therapy relies on counseling techniques and the creative process to help patients resolve internal conflicts and feel a greater sense of meaning in their lives. Art therapists work with people young and old and in individual and group settings.

Typical Coursework

Those wishing to become art therapists typically complete a master's degree with training in both arts disciplines and therapy methods. Aspiring art therapists who want a shorter educational commitment can seek out the many associate programs that are also available. Associate degrees do not qualify students to become licensed art therapists, but they do prepare practitioners for a wide variety of careers. Certification requirements for these professionals vary by region but are generally achieved by completing coursework at a state-approved institution.

Job Prospects

Art therapists and practitioners may work in a wide range of settings. Many elect to work in hospitals or mental health settings offering individual, family and group therapies. There are also positions available in long-term care facilities, schools and other education environments. Finally, there are opportunities for professionals to work in private practice.

Higher Learning/Graduate Opportunities

A master's degree is required for those who would like to become licensed art therapists. These programs may include courses in art, child and adult psychotherapy, psychopathology, family counseling and psychopharmacology. Often specific career objectives will influence the concentration of studies. Students must practice under the supervision of faculty before they are licensed and eligible to practice.


Art therapy professionals enjoy rewarding work in which they're able to make a genuine impact in patients' lives. Due to the sensitive nature of some patients' problems, art therapy careers can be very challenging. Those interested in the field should be patient and have genuine concern for the wellbeing of others.


Art Therapy Professions Video: Educational Requirements to Be an Art Therapist Related Articles

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?